Chemistry (CHEM) 311

Analytical Chemistry I (Revision 2)

CHEM 311

Temporarily closed, effective December 9, 2020

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study with a three-day compulsory supervised lab.

Check dates and locations of supervised lab prior to registering for the course. This course is charged a lab fee.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: CHEM 217 and CHEM 218, or other courses equivalent to six credits of first-year university general chemistry.

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

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CHEM 311 is not available for challenge.

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Chemistry 311: Analytical Chemistry I, the first of Athabasca University’s two courses in analytical chemistry, provides an introduction to commonly used “wet chemical” analytical methods. An emphasis is placed on the background theory of the techniques, combined with applications of the techniques in the laboratory. Topics covered in the course include a discussion of the analytical process, experimental measurement, and tools used by an analytical chemist. We also discuss the basic statistical methods used by analytical chemists and methods of determining and expressing experimental error, and we consider some of the basic concepts of quality control and quality assurance. As a background to many of the wet chemical methods, we include a review of chemical equilibrium, including the concept of activity. We cover the common titration methods (gravimetric, acid-base, oxidation-reduction, and complexometric) in the context of specific applications. We present the theory of oxidation reactions as a background to oxidation-reduction titrations, and we discuss gravimetric analytical methods.

The compulsory laboratory component of CHEM 311 is designed to teach the student to prepare solutions for use in analytical procedures, perform analytical experiments based on specified procedures and equipment, perform statistical calculations on data (including determination of mean, range, and standard deviation), write laboratory reports designed for a specific target audience, and work safely in a chemical laboratory.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to

  • demonstrate practical and theoretical knowledge of quantitative chemical analysis.
  • apply statistical methods to interpret analytical data.
  • describe and apply aspects of quality assurance in analytical chemistry.
  • calibrate analytical laboratory equipment.
  • perform equilibrium and electrochemical calculations that pertain to chemical analyses.
  • analyze chemical samples using methods such as titrations and gravimetric analysis and complete related calculations.


CHEM 311 comprises the following ten units:

  • Unit 1: Introduction, Measurement and Tools of the Trade
  • Unit 2: Experimental Error
  • Unit 3: Statistics
  • Unit 4: Quality Assurance and Calibration
  • Unit 5: Chemical Equilibrium
  • Unit 6: Activity and Equilibrium
  • Unit 7: Acid-Base Equilibria and Titrations
  • Unit 8: Complexometric Titrations—EDTA
  • Unit 9: Fundamentals of Electrochemistry and Redox Titrations
  • Unit 10: Gravimetric and Combustion Analysis


Due to Covid-19 restrictions the Laboratory component of this course is unavailable. Students enrolled will be assigned a Pass/Fail instead of a composite grade. The pass/fail will be assess based on results of the remaining course work.

To receive credit for CHEM 311, the student must achieve a course composite grade of at least a D (50 percent). The student must achieve a combined average of 50 percent on the exams, a weighted average grade of at least 60 percent on the assignments, and a weighted average grade of at least 60 percent on the laboratory work. The weighting of the components that comprise the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 4%
Assignment 2 4%
Assignment 3 4%
Assignment 4 3%
Midterm Examination 25%
Final Examination 35%
Laboratory Work 25%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Harris, D. C. (2016). Quantitative Chemical Analysis (9th ed.). W. H. Freeman and Company.

Harris, D. C. (2016). Solutions Manual for Quantitative Chemical Analysis (9th ed.). W. H. Freeman and Company.

Special Instructional Features

CHEM 311 has a compulsory laboratory component that requires students to complete about 25 hours of laboratory work. A laboratory manual will be provided prior to beginning the lab component. For more information, please visit

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

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Opened in Revision 2, March 4, 2020.